4.14.2012

I Am The Gentle Autumn Rain

This is version of Mary Frye's poem, which I believe is untitled. It is fitting of this anniversary that our family shares with music lovers around the world. It usually helps me get through the loss ...

(Thank you Isa for finding this artwork!)
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Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

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Whatever you are doing today to remember
Peter Steele Ratajczyk,

whether it's a meeting at Prospect Park
in front of a tree planted in his honor

or

celebrating mass at Visitation Church in Red Hook

or

playing music really loud in your car in Germany

or

sending good thoughts into the universe in California

Our Family Thanks You For Loving

Peter Steele

For Who He Was:

Genius

Friend

Brother

Son

Lover

Buddy

Protector

Jokester

Monster in the Basement

Mentor

Soulmate

Partner in Crime

Bandmate

OURS


Missing You For 2 Years Now

xoxoxo


Please connect with our friends from this Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/PeterRatajczykTreePage

4.13.2012

It Is A Rare Relationship When ...


Mardie & Peter...
First love & loyal confidantes of over 30 years...

It's a rare relationship when two people can just lose themselves within each other ....
Sort of takes your breathe away, doesn't it ?


For all the takers that surrounded Peter later in his life, there were some people who always cared for him throughout different parts of his life. Some of them were the lovely ladies who the family holds dearly ... some were the real friends who gave when others only took.



Peter loved nature, we would often take trips to beautiful places in the woods and spend the whole day exploring. He really loved the feeling of disappearing for the day and no one knowing where we were. This pic is from the renaissance fair, he loved to go there and go back in time, he said that this period in time made him feel "homesick". We would dress up and get into it as if we really lived in this time, eating turkey legs with our hands and all. Of course he would make turkey noises while eating, he was such a joker and always made me laugh. This is just one of hundreds of memories. He was not only my husband but my best friend. The most beautiful thing about Peter was he didn't realize how very special he was. – Donna
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To the real friends and loves of Peter's life --
a heartfelt thank you for appreciating Peter
for the extraordinary soul that he was
and loving him despite his faults.




4.12.2012

In Shared Grief I Write This About Peter Steele





To the Ratajczyk Family and all those who deeply loved Pete

I am simply a fan on the other side of the world who was deeply moved by all that Pete and Type O Negative created. Musically and I guess emotionally, TON’s music was there when I needed it most – recovering from lost love, grieving over loss of parents and times when I just needed to blast the ear drums big time! No music has ever moved me so much. I have never come across music so raw, passionate and powerful – like modern day Viking Sagas.

We all know what a genius Pete was to have assembled such talent as TON. The music that was created goes beyond genius. The world is a much darker place with his passing and I can’t imagine the hurt this loss means to you all. I know his loss must be like a open wound and I apologise if my email upsets you all in any way. I lost my parents to cancer, so have some idea of the grief you feel. As Pete wrote – “you love someone, there will be grief...”. This is the incredible cost we all pay to love someone.

If this email can bring you any solace at all, it’s in the fact that Pete and TON moved millions of people around the world – even in upside down “Lostralia”! I can only imagine how incredible it must have been to see TON live and I deeply regret I wasn’t able to do this. Your brother is alive in the memories of millions of people and he made a major difference to this world. Because of his genius, Pete has achieved a kind of immortality and like the Viking Sagas, his music will ring out around the world for a very long time to come.

Yours in sincerity a shared grief -- Adam Dormer


I am a nature person, and I understand the cycles of life, so I have never really cried for anyone that passed. I spent many years living on top of a mountain in Swaziland, and always my connection with Nature has been like a mother to child bond. So I moved to the big city eventually, and felt the cruelty of humanity for the first time. The real sting of human nature. No more trees, no more forests, no rivers. Just roadside bushes and small trees to make people feel better about their concrete world. I fell so far into manic (&suicidal) depression, and I was in a desperate search for escape, even if it was death. And then I heard Type O Negative. I heard Peters voice, and for the first time there was someone who understood and felt exactly how I felt. Someone who felt what I felt. I remember the exact moment and the feelings that rushed through my being. I can never explain how deeply moved I still am by everything he did and wrote, or how connected I still feel to him. I was driving to work shorlty after his passing and it felt like he was sitting next to me, talking to me. I wept the entire way to work and sat in the car in the parking lot until I could go inside, still welling up. For the first time I feel like I have lost someone, even though I never met him in person. My family and myself have been well known for our gift of second sight, shall we call it. I remember wondering in that moment what made me important enough for him to spare me a moment and say goodbye.

I have never really liked people, although one must love everyone, I still don't have to like them. Some people are just born beautiful, and completely misunderstood. They have a very strong connection with nature, and an emotional tick that most don't fully understand. I just wanted to meet him once, because he would know that I know. For some reason not everyone shares or even has those feelings, or the connection. Its like people have disconnected from who they really are in an attempt to survive. Nearly every single song he wrote connected with some part of my life, some love lost, romance, darkness, despair, pain, and pleasure. It was almost like living a reflection, which I must admit was weird at times.

All I'm saying is that I feel the loss of a kindred spirit, and a mentor that needed not even know me. My struggle was made easier, and my load of sorrow lightened because of him.
Though I sometimes weep for my own loss, I smile, for his rewards are greater than we could know.

Thank you for keeping his memories alive. My heart goes out to your family. -- Chris Wolfe

                                                            (artwork by Jimm Colorusso )

On January 19, 1997, my friend Anne took me to see Type O Negative at the Abyss in Norfolk, VA (It may have been VA Beach, but it was at the Abyss). I had heard of Type O Negative before, but I don't know that I'd heard them and I'd definitely never seen them. At the time, I was 26 years old, a year and a half sober, and not doing all that well. Constantly fighting with my girlfriend and struggling with sobriety. The show was phenomenal. When Peter sang, I was truly moved. I knew that he knew how I felt without ever speaking to him. Needless to say, that converted me to a fan right there. I got October Rust and it became one of my favorite albums for awhile; especially several months later when I got dumped. In any case, after the show, Anne knew Josh (she used to work in the music business and had met him that way), so after the show we walked up to them. I thought it was odd that the guys seemed to be taking care of their own instruments after the show. We talked to Josh for awhile, but I distinctly remember Peter coming out to do something with his bass and introducing himself. I shook his hand, and he asked me how I enjoyed the show. I said something along the lines of "Good. Different, but that's definitely good." He replied "Glad you enjoyed it!" and then he went on about his business. That was my entire interaction with him. I remember thinking not only that he was the largest man I had ever seen, but that he seemed genuine, if that makes any sense. Fast forward to 15 years later. Going through another rough time in my life; now I'm 16 1/2 years sober. All along the way, when I hit hard times, Type O has been there, helping me through. It's like my sadness merges with the music and the music takes it away. I know that someone understands. I was saddened to hear of Peter's death, and I was saddened more by the way that people tend to focus on his failings. Having had some of those failings myself, I can tell you with great confidence that at times, I would not be sober if it were not for Peter. I wish I had more of an opportunity to talk with him. I wish I had the chance to tell him how much he's meant to me and my sobriety. How none of my three kids would have a father if it weren't for him. I just wanted to put this up there and to say Pete, if you're listening, thank you!

Peace -- Bill Griggs

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A good friend of the blog: Jeanne B has done this ice tribute. Enjoy:





Their Love For Peter Steele Is Reflected In the Artwork

As I noted yesterday, this year my family has been given the opportunity to see all the beautiful works of art that fans have made honoring Peter. Every day, we are amazed at the creativity that comes from men and women around the world -- all inspired by a humble person -- Peter.

If you have ever gotten a chance to meet Peter at shows or meet n greets, you'd see that he was honored when someone handed him artwork or music inspired by his own talent. He turned red sometimes. He made jokes. He'd make fun of you or voiced crazy noises . But he always brought his fan's creative talents back home with him, where he shared them with his mother and sisters.  When it came to receiving cds or tapes from up and coming bands, he listened to them. He shared the recordings with us. He brought us to concerts to see bands. He supported and gave back to the music community.  He was ... amazing and kind to everyone.

Today's post is about thanking the fun, colorful and zany people who have friended us through this blog and on our facebook pages. From Karla Collins to Mary Wolfe to Veronica De La Rosa Diaz to Joey James Hernandez to Tabitha Buckmen Bendeich -- to name a few -- have created art and shared it with our Steele Family -- you have brightened our lives with your generosity and dazzling creativity.

Here are a few family favorites ... Enjoy

Posted with permission from Mary Wolfe who created this birthday card for Peter
Thank you Mare for sharing

 by Joey James Hernandez


The Perfect Piece for Spring
by Mary Wolfe


 
For everyone else who has regularly offered words of encouragement or fought the haters on our behalf, a big hug goes out to so many people -- thousands to be exact -- like Isa, Elke, Windy, Dianna, Carrie Ann, Jeanne, Brandy, Deborah, Theresa, Stephanie, Pat, Jessica, Amy, Rose, Sean, Erik, Dunebuggy, Gayle, Agnes, Marcheline, Sabine ... the list of names goes on and on.


We Are Blessed

4.11.2012

I Can Still See Peter Steele's Ghost Walking In Brooklyn


Barely a Whisper of Peter Steele Walking in the Snow Near the Verrazano Bridge
PHOTO BY KARLA COLLINS posted with permission


Do you feel him nearby? When you are in Prospect park, do you see a green man sitting in the tree? Did you hear him chuckle when you were making Oatmeal cookies on Saturday night? Or feel his presence at the last show you played at ?  It's the memories that we have of Peter, through his songs, his jokes, his laughter (at you) that keeps him alive.

Since I've taken time off from writing on the blog, I've noticed all the beautiful ways that you, his fans have kept him alive in your lives. From fan artwork like Karla Collins' pictures, to poetry and personal rememberances that I've seen on various fan FB sites and personal pages. In the year, the family has been honored with christmas balls made in TON splendor, jewelry too beautiful not to wear, an inspired dream catcher, poetry, songs written about Peter, thoughtful words posted on family pages and of course, the many people who have graciously given money to charities dear to our hearts (Patty Piorkowski: you are too kind ! ).

From today through Saturday, I hope to add to the celebration of Peter's life by sharing some inspirations with you. This is also a thank you to our extended family who have been through this heartbreak with us ... and kept us smiling when we really didn't want to.


To kick us into the spirit of April, here is reminder from Angie who comments on here with the name Scratchnsniff :

april is here -
no warmth in that...
it's cold in our hearts,
as the spring-sun laughs

the green has returned -
fresh, lush, & bright...
but our autumn hearts love,
and miss your gold light

~~~

we see you, green man and lady
we see all that you do...
you take what we love,
to nourish anew

nothing is wasted...
all energy transforms...
everything dies...
except spirit-essence

thinking of you, ratachickies :'(
Love and Respect, as always

Thank you again for playing Peter's music, telling stories about his generosity and inner beauty, and corrupting more people into listening to his music.

~ Peace... Darcie